Ranking Marvel NOW! 56 – 41


Fred Van Lente & Reilly Brown

There is a lengthy dinner table discussion where Slapstick talks to his entire family about how he lost his dingus. Also he lights his fart on fire. These things happen, and don’t even make me laugh. – MeanOldPig

I can’t think of a more appropriate title for the collected edition. – MMDG

First collection: Slapstick, Vol. 1: That’s Not Funny (August)



Gerry Duggan, Geoffrey Thorne & Paco Diaz

This is really dumb. Why does Marvel like this Thorne guy so much? The writing is so juvenile, and I couldn’t possibly give a lesser shit about Solo. I think we’re going to see a steady decline on all the SHIELD/spy-type garbage over the next year. – MMDG

Did not enjoy this. One or two amusing puppy panels is all I can say were good about Solo. What is Marvel thinking with this one? – IP

Collection: Solo: The One-Man War on Terror (June)



Geoffey Thorne & Khary Randolph

Too much narration in this one to really get a feel for a story. There’s potential for a hero with this power set, but I can’t really say I was grabbed by anything in this book. – IP

Not impressed. Feels like a Saturday morning cartoon script – jejune and hyperbolic. Art doesn’t help either. – MMDG

First collection: Mosaic Vol. 1: King of the World (May)


Ghost Rider

Felipe Smith, Danilo Beyruth & Tradd Moore

I have mixed feelings about this book. I like the new look of Ghost Rider, particularly the muscle car, but the story is leaving a lot to be desired. Amadeus Cho being around seems like a good fit though, and this new Wolverine is an interesting addition. I might check out a few more issues of this, but I’m not sold. – IP

This suuucks. Not sure which is worse, last season’s Drax, or this. Terrible writing, no conception of character, and idiotic plot construction. The Hulk and X-23 appearances are wasted. – MMDG

Collection: Ghost Rider: Four on the Floor (July)


Deadpool & The Mercs for Money

Cullen Bunn and Iban Coello
beginning with #4

I’ll admit to having grown out of being a Deadpool fan. What at first seemed fun and novel has grown tiresome over the years. That said, this book isn’t terrible. I might finish off the first arc for, if nothing else, a promise of more Negasonic Teenage Warhead, a character whose inclusion here must stem from her stint in the Deadpool movie. Not good, not bad, just an average book really. – IP

First collection: Deadpool & The Mercs for Money Volume 1: Mo’ Mercs, Mo’ Monkeys


The Punisher

Becky Cloonan and Steve Dillon
beginning with #7

Becky Cloonan’s Punisher takes a lot from the original Garth Ennis run, right down to using the most famous artist of Frank in the late, great Steve Dillon. The book is fun but doesn’t really seem to transcend to much beyond that. Frank fights a lot of people hopped up on a mutant growth hormone, so you will see a lot of creative deaths. Dillon and replacement artist Matt Hoark do a good job of portraying the action but I don’t think the run is anything different. If you like the Punisher, you will enjoy this, but if you don’t care about the character you can skip it. If this is your first Punisher murder rodeo you will get a kick out of it.  – MeanOldPig

Collection: Punisher Volume 2: End of the Line (August)



Mike Costa and Gerardo Sandoval

Venom is running out of steam as a character for me. This new host being outright evil is interesting, but I get the sense that this series is going for an edge that Marvel largely abandoned in the 90’s. Not a bad story necessarily, but I can’t say I’m that interested. – IP

First collection: Venom Volume 1: Homecoming (June)



Jim Zub and Sean Izaakse
beginning with #7

I’ll admit to being very interested in how the Kobik storyline ties in with everything going on in the Steve Rogers book, but the writing is sub-par and the art distractingly bad. I’ll opt for a Wikipedia summary. – MMDG

Collection: Thunderbolts Volume 2: No Going Back (July)



Sean Ryan and Jamal Campbell

Shocked to actually enjoy this book quite a bit. Excellent art, top-notch coloring and shading work, and clear action help to sell Prowler, who has never been of much interest to me. The story is promising, and Jackal is a fun, if obvious, mentor-turned-villain. I will be reading more of this for the art, but the story isn’t half bad either. – IP

Collection: Prowler: The Clone Conspiracy (July)



Gerry Duggan and Scott Koblish
beginning with #21

Two comics to talk about here. First up is the actual Deadpool issue, which sees the Merc With a Mouth face off against Madcap. Some genuine humor here, which is a relief as it seems like the character’s goodwill has started to dry up after his largely successful solo film. The story itself isn’t bad, but it’s also not the sort of thing I feel compelled to continue reading.

The second story is much more interesting, a medley of Shakespeare’s tragedies with Deadpool inserted into the middle, iambic pentameter and all. I found myself enjoying this farce quite a bit, actually. While it is certainly fluff, the language works and the references to both Shakespeare’s plays and anachronistic references to the 21st century generate the quality of humor I want from a Deadpool book. To recap: First part, meh. Second part, yea! – IP

Collection: Deadpool Volume 6: Patience: Zero


Squadron Supreme

James Robinson and Leonard Kirk
beginning with #13

What began as a promising James Robinson book in the ANAD era seemingly got waylaid and bogged down by company directives, event tie-ins, and uninspired art. The disjointed series is on its last legs, as evidenced by the fact that this NOW! issue had the “starts now!” label removed for the digital edition. Join me in pretending it doesn’t exist, and we can all move on. – MMDG

Collection: Squadron Supreme Volume 3: Finding Namor (June)


The Unstoppable Wasp

Jeremy Whitley and Elsa Charretier

The Unstoppable Wasp has the best intentions, but unfortunately fails in several ways. First, our hero, Nadia, is so positive and bubbly that she could only be called saccharine. That would be fine if there was some underlying depth to her character, especially considering her relatively dark backstory. All she does is shoot wide eyed gazes at every new thing, bring grown women to tears with her positivity, and reference her father, Hank Pym, as much as possible.

Another big problem is that the book seems to be pandering to comic book readers by offering a strong female character, but doesn’t back it up with anything interesting; instead we get a checklist of positive portrayals of women in comic book bullet points. Of course, I want to see these characteristics in more books, strong characters, armor for female characters that actually looks like it would protect them, and a focus on women teaming up to do superhero things. I just wish the book had more to offer than surface-level feminist positivity and tried to do something more. I’ll keep reading because I want The Unstoppable Wasp to be a good book. Unfortunately, right now, it isn’t. – IP

First collection: The Unstoppable Wasp Volume 1: Unstoppable! (September)



Max Bemis and Dalibor Talajic

I like the Breaking Bad visual reference a lot. Also, the line “Zooey Deschanel Hawkeye” is something I didn’t know I wanted to read so badly. This book is surprisingly competent, especially in the art department. The goofy Punisher thing can only get a book so far, but I guess I’m in for as long as it stays interesting. – IP

Not bad, but it is, as advertised, a goofy Punisher. Art is crisp, and the script isn’t anywhere as lame as Solo. Not sure I want to keep up with this though. – MMDG

Collection: Foolkiller: Psycho Therapy (July)


Black Panther: World of Wakanda

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Roxane Gay, and Yona Harvey

A great idea for a series, since Coates’s Panther is definitely rich enough to explore in a companion book. But the dialogue is halting (as most novelists-turned-comic-writers discover) and the art is just bad. Still worth following, though, particularly for the folkloric background. – MMDG

This is an interesting book. Since there are two distinct stories, it makes sense to speak to them differently. The first, a story of woman warriors in the Wakandan army is well told but not entirely interesting, and its connection to the Avengers and X-Men war is dubious at best. Still, the series has potential. The second story though, is much more promising, both on an art and storytelling level. I will likely read more of this book, but I wouldn’t be shocked if after a few issues I skip right down to the second serial instead of reading the first. – IP

First collection: Black Panther: World of Wakanda Volume 1: Dawn of the Midnight Angels (June)


The Uncanny Inhumans

Charles Soule and RB Silva
beginning with #15

This book feels less like a #1 and more like the #15 that it is. That said, I enjoyed the art and story quite a bit. Reader is an interesting character and the idea of a person being recreated by how others perceive them is an interesting concept. I will be reading more to see where this goes. – IP

Collection: The Uncanny Inhumans Volume 4: IvX (June)


Occupy Avengers

David F. Walker and Carlos Pacheco

As much as I’ve been enjoying PM&IF and Nighthawk, this seems like the book Walker really wants to write. I’m down with some socially conscious environmental avenging. And making this the new Clint book (while keeping both Red Wolf and, I’m guessing, Nighthawk, relevant) is a great move. Wish the art was better though. – MMDG

First collection: Occupy Avengers Volume 1: Taking Back Justice (July)


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